ABDUNOR “Apocryphal”

ABDUNOR
”Apocryphal”
(Mighty)
ABDUNOR might have taken a very long time to get their debut album released but that doesn’t really matter. You could have formed yesterday or 17 years ago. What matters is what you do with the music. This could be the greatest record never released or just a walk in the park. I love black metal in all its shapes and forms but at times I get a feeling of there being very little variation on the theme. ABDUNOR isn’t a bad black metal act. It is just that I feel like I’ve heard this type of black metal so many times before that it all starts to come together as one band. If you can imagine a more symphonic version of Immortal you will get an idea of where to find ABDUNOR’s black metal. And as I’m a huge Immortal fan I find this to be well worth my time. Anders Ekdahl

AGATHODAIMON “In Darkness”

AGATHODAIMON
”In Darkness”
(Massacre)
AGATHODAIMON is a band that I think I’ve reviewed before but it was a very long time ago. I can’t say that they made a lasting impression on me back then because I’ve not returned to them since then. But I could have been wrong back then. As I have no recollection of what AGATHODAIMOLN sounded like the last time I heard them this will be like starting anew for me. I kinda remember them to be blackish in their approach to metal but what kind of black metal it was escapes me. There is a symphonic feel to the metal of AGATHODAIMON. I get a Dissection/Borknagar vibe listening to this. Old school without it being retro in all the wrong ways. Having heard this new album I get an urge to go looking for the back catalogue. If those albums are anything like this I have missed out on a great band. Don’t you do the same mistake. Anders Ekdahl

BIG WHEEL STUNT SHOW “Wonderful Life”

BIG WHEEL STUNT SHOW
”Wonderful Life”
()
I like the monster truck shows that the Americans have going on. There is something very cool to big ass trucks jumping and spinning around like crazy. I have no idea how you’ll transport that feeling from the arena to a band. But I guess that BIG WHEEL STUNT SHOW are about to show me how it is done. I’m not much of a carnival kinda guy. Despite that I get a carnival feeling when I listen to this album by BIG WHEEL STUNT SHOW. And you could say that the monster truck shows are a modern ambulating carnival. This band and its music fits perfectly on that scene with its up-beat, straight for the throat hard rock’n’roll. I’m a fan of Elvis and what he accomplished by shaking his pelvis. BWSS keep that flame alive with its blues/rock sound. This is the kind of stuff I could listen to driving Route 66 from east to west. Stopping off at some dark and smokey bar along the road. Getting a cold beer and hearing the local band. Anders Ekdahl

DANIELLE BLOOM “Meet Me In the Middle”

DANIELLE BLOOM
”Meet Me In The Middle”
(-)
When you come from Nashville people immediately assume that you are going to be a country artist but not me. I have over the last couple of years come upon enough cool hardrock/metal acts from Nashville to know that there is more to the town than cowboys and gals. When I listen to this album I get feelings of bands from the early 90s before grunge hit it big. The bluesier end of hardrock from bands that I know the names of but can’t get off the tip of my tongue. If I look really hard in my CD collection I’ll find them. If you close your eyes when you listen to this album you can almost see Danielle Bloom moving about enjoying herself up on that stage. This is the kind of music that is best served live. That is where its soul thrives the best. Not being tied down on a sterile CD disc. Anders Ekdahl

CONTRITION “Reflections”

CONTRITION
”Reflections”
(Mighty)
There are so many acts out there that you can’t keep track of them all. And I have no intention of doing so either. That I leave to the guys and Metal Archives. I’m just glad that I get to hear a fraction of the bands around. At first I thought that this was going to be another black metal band but that turned out to be wrong. This is more death metal on the technical side. I get a mid 90s US east coast hardcore feeling too when I listen to this. The really tough guy kind of hardcore that involves serious mosh pits and blood and sweat for it to be a really good gig. I would never in a million year call this metalcore. This is more crossover than anything. So if hardcorish death metal sounds like something that you’d like to get to explore a bit more or if you just want to mosh like a maniac this could be for you. Anders Ekdahl

DARKANE “The Sinister Supremacy”

DARKANE
”The Sinister Supremacy”
(Massacre)
OK. So this band might be from my home town but since we are of a different generation I have never met them. I have hardly heard their music. I think I have one album by them and that is their debut from way back. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t give them another chance to prove themselves. As I haven’t paid too much attention to them I have no idea what they are about musically. That is thrash metal there is no question about. But what kind of thrash it is harder to tell. I do get some very minor The Haunted vibes but that I think is more a mind ghost than a viable reference. I like it when they thrash it out full on. Don’t like it so much when they go into the softer bits. Especially as it happens within the same song. I wouldn’t have objected if they did a full on thrash tune and then mixed it up with a softer one. But despite my reservations I do like this album simply because it is more thrash than it is soft metal. Anders Ekdahl

DUDLEY TAFT “Deep Deep Blue”

DUDLEY TAFT
”Deep Deep Blue”
(American Blues Artist Group)
I have no idea if DUDLEY TAFT is a dude or a band. And not that it really matters anyway. All I care about is if the music is any good. If it is a solo artist or a band is of little importance to me. And not being at all familiar with this it could turn out to be anything between heaven and hell. There used to be a time in the 90s when I tried to dig deeper into the blues scene. I had this crazy idea of finding the true blues sound, the sound that I had built in my head. I gave up on it real quick and just settled for listening and not looking. DUDLEY TAFT is a new acquaintance to me but I guess that is only because I haven’t been looking, just listening to the stuff that has come my way. This is the kind of blues rock that makes my legs want to move involuntarily. It is hard to sit still when you listen to this album. I gotta find out more about this. Anders Ekdahl

FADING BLISS “From Illusion To Despair”

FADING BLISS
”From Illusion To Despair”
(Mighty)
It is not often I get to experience bliss. It might only happen a couple of times during your lifetime, if at all. But to have the bliss fading must be like seeing your money turn into butter. You had it but it slipped from you. What the band FADING BLISS is all about is a whole different story. And what they are about is all about is death doom goth metal like it was played in the 90s by Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Anathema. This is melancholic and dark like there is no tomorrow. I used to worship at the altar of the unholy British trio in the 90s. I still like that whole dark melancholic metal sound that these three British bands started and that have been carried on by countless bands ever since. This Belgian lot aren’t a happy bunch musically. If you are prone to depressions you might want to stay away from this lot. If you like me find joy in being melancholic you will want to check them out. Nothing new or even remotely innovating but ever so great melancholic death doom goth metal all the way to the bank. Anders Ekdahl

INTO CENTURY “Nobody’s Slave”

INTO CENTURY
”Nobody’s Slave”
(Mighty)
I am fascinated by the choices bands do when it comes to their names. INTO CENTURY might look good on paper but once you start thinking about the meaning I get stomped; INTO CENTURY??? But the name is just a name. What matters is the music. Musically this made me think of a cross between Soundgarden and Helmet. It is grungy yet heavy in a kinda off-beat kind of way. And since I like both Soundgarden and Helmet I find pleasure in listening to this Danish band. I have nothing against Volbeat but I’ll take this any day of the week over having to sit through a Volbeat album. This is more my kind of heavy metal. Throw in some Pantera too in the mix and you get a pretty heavy yet melodic album to listen to. Anders Ekdahl

LAID8 “These Faded Lines”

LAID8
”These Faded Lines”
(-)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There gotta be more bands from Israel playing metal than we get to experience. There has to be with so many people living there and. All cannot be tied up with their kibbutz. There gotta be a youth movement of sorts that is into metal. LAID8 might have a name that is hard to get but musically this isn’t that hard to understand, even though the first band I came to think of were Norwegian Atrox ( a not too easy to understand metal band). But seeing as I’m no stranger to the more off the beaten road kind of metal bands I find enjoyment in this album by LAID8. You could call it avant garde metal but that would be doing the band a great injustice. I’d say that they end up somewhere between Evanescence/Paramore’s more mainstream approach and the more twisted and weird metal of bands like Atrox. Easily accessible with being to watered down. Anders Ekdahl